Fast, distributed, secure AI for Big Data
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Fast, Distributed, Secure AI for Big Data

BigDL seamlessly scales your data analytics & AI applications from laptop to cloud, with the following libraries:

  • Orca: Distributed Big Data & AI (TF & PyTorch) Pipeline on Spark and Ray

  • Nano: Transparent Acceleration of Tensorflow & PyTorch Programs

  • DLlib: “Equivalent of Spark MLlib” for Deep Learning

  • Chronos: Scalable Time Series Analysis using AutoML

  • Friesian: End-to-End Recommendation Systems

  • PPML: Secure Big Data and AI (with SGX Hardware Security)

For more information, you may read the docs.

Choosing the right BigDL library

flowchart TD;
    Feature1{{HW Secured Big Data & AI?}};
    Feature1-- No -->Feature2{{Python vs. Scala/Java?}};
    Feature1-- "Yes"  -->ReferPPML([<em><strong>PPML</strong></em>]);
    Feature2-- Python -->Feature3{{What type of application?}};
    Feature2-- Scala/Java -->ReferDLlib([<em><strong>DLlib</strong></em>]);
    Feature3-- "Distributed Big Data + AI (TF/PyTorch)" -->ReferOrca([<em><strong>Orca</strong></em>]);
    Feature3-- Accelerate TensorFlow / PyTorch -->ReferNano([<em><strong>Nano</strong></em>]);
    Feature3-- DL for Spark MLlib -->ReferDLlib2([<em><strong>DLlib</strong></em>]);
    Feature3-- High Level App Framework -->Feature4{{Domain?}};
    Feature4-- Time Series -->ReferChronos([<em><strong>Chronos</strong></em>]);
    Feature4-- Recommender System -->ReferFriesian([<em><strong>Friesian</strong></em>]);
    click ReferNano ""
    click ReferOrca ""
    click ReferDLlib ""
    click ReferDLlib2 ""
    click ReferChronos ""
    click ReferFriesian ""
    click ReferPPML ""
    classDef ReferStyle1 fill:#5099ce,stroke:#5099ce;
    classDef Feature fill:#FFF,stroke:#08409c,stroke-width:1px;
    class ReferNano,ReferOrca,ReferDLlib,ReferDLlib2,ReferChronos,ReferFriesian,ReferPPML ReferStyle1;
    class Feature1,Feature2,Feature3,Feature4,Feature5,Feature6,Feature7 Feature;


  • To install BigDL, we recommend using conda environment:

    conda create -n my_env 
    conda activate my_env
    pip install bigdl

    To install latest nightly build, use pip install --pre --upgrade bigdl; see Python and Scala user guide for more details.

  • To install each individual library, such as Chronos, use pip install bigdl-chronos; see the document website for more details.

Getting Started


  • The Orca library seamlessly scales out your single node TensorFlow, PyTorch or OpenVINO programs across large clusters (so as to process distributed Big Data).

    You can build end-to-end, distributed data processing & AI programs using Orca in 4 simple steps:

    # 1. Initilize Orca Context (to run your program on K8s, YARN or local laptop)
    from bigdl.orca import init_orca_context, OrcaContext
    sc = init_orca_context(cluster_mode="k8s", cores=4, memory="10g", num_nodes=2) 
    # 2. Perform distribtued data processing (supporting Spark DataFrames,
    # TensorFlow Dataset, PyTorch DataLoader, Ray Dataset, Pandas, Pillow, etc.)
    spark = OrcaContext.get_spark_session()
    df =
    df = df.withColumn('label', df.label-1)
    # 3. Build deep learning models using standard framework APIs
    # (supporting TensorFlow, PyTorch, Keras, OpenVino, etc.)
    from tensorflow import keras
    model = keras.models.Model(inputs=[user, item], outputs=predictions)  
    # 4. Use Orca Estimator for distributed training/inference
    from import Estimator
    est = Estimator.from_keras(keras_model=model),
            feature_cols=['user', 'item'],

    See Orca user guide, as well as TensorFlow and PyTorch quickstarts, for more details.

  • In addition, you can also run standard Ray programs on Spark cluster using RayOnSpark in Orca.

    You can not only run Ray program on Spark cluster, but also write Ray code inline with Spark code (so as to process the in-memory Spark RDDs or DataFrames) using RayOnSpark in Orca.

    # 1. Initilize Orca Context (to run your program on K8s, YARN or local laptop)
    from bigdl.orca import init_orca_context, OrcaContext
    sc = init_orca_context(cluster_mode="yarn", cores=4, memory="10g", num_nodes=2, init_ray_on_spark=True) 
    # 2. Distribtued data processing using Spark
    spark = OrcaContext.get_spark_session()
    df =
    # 3. Convert Spark DataFrame to Ray Dataset
    from import spark_df_to_ray_dataset
    dataset = spark_df_to_ray_dataset(df)
    # 4. Use Ray to operate on Ray Datasets
    import ray
    def consume(data) -> int:
       num_batches = 0
       for batch in data.iter_batches(batch_size=10):
           num_batches += 1
       return num_batches

    See RayOnSpark user guide and quickstart for more details.


You can transparently accelerate your TensorFlow or PyTorch programs on your laptop or server using Nano. With minimum code changes, Nano automatically applies modern CPU optimizations (e.g., SIMD, multiprocessing, low precision, etc.) to standard TensorFlow and PyTorch code, with up-to 10x speedup.

You can automatically optimize a trained PyTorch model for inference or deployment using Nano:

model = ResNet18().load_state_dict(...)
train_dataloader = ...
val_dataloader = ...
def accuracy (pred, target):

from bigdl.nano.pytorch import InferenceOptimizer
optimizer = InferenceOptimizer()
new_model, config = optimizer.get_best_model()


The output of optimizer.summary() will be something like:

 -------------------------------- ---------------------- -------------- ----------------------
|             method             |        status        | latency(ms)  |     metric value     |
 -------------------------------- ---------------------- -------------- ----------------------
|            original            |      successful      |    45.145    |        0.975         |
|              bf16              |      successful      |    27.549    |        0.975         |
|          static_int8           |      successful      |    11.339    |        0.975         |
|         jit_fp32_ipex          |      successful      |    40.618    |        0.975*        |
|  jit_fp32_ipex_channels_last   |      successful      |    19.247    |        0.975*        |
|         jit_bf16_ipex          |      successful      |    10.149    |        0.975         |
|  jit_bf16_ipex_channels_last   |      successful      |    9.782     |        0.975         |
|         openvino_fp32          |      successful      |    22.721    |        0.975*        |
|         openvino_int8          |      successful      |    5.846     |        0.962         |
|        onnxruntime_fp32        |      successful      |    20.838    |        0.975*        |
|    onnxruntime_int8_qlinear    |      successful      |    7.123     |        0.981         |
 -------------------------------- ---------------------- -------------- ----------------------
* means we assume the metric value of the traced model does not change, so we don't recompute metric value to save time.
Optimization cost 60.8s in total.
model = ResNet18()
optimizer = torch.optim.SGD(...)
train_loader = ...
val_loader = ...

from bigdl.nano.pytorch import TorchNano

# Define your training loop inside `TorchNano.train`
class Trainer(TorchNano):
	def train(self):
	# call `setup` to prepare for model, optimizer(s) and dataloader(s) for accelerated training
	model, optimizer, (train_loader, val_loader) = self.setup(model, optimizer,
  train_loader, val_loader)
    for epoch in range(num_epochs):  
      for data, target in train_loader:  
        output = model(data)  
        # replace the loss.backward() with self.backward(loss)  
        loss = loss_fuc(output, target)  

# Accelerated training (IPEX, BF16 and Multi-Instance Training)
Trainer(use_ipex=True, precision='bf16', num_processes=2).train()

See Nano user guide and tutotial for more details.


With DLlib, you can write distributed deep learning applications as standard (Scala or Python) Spark programs, using the same Spark DataFrames and ML Pipeline APIs.

You can build distributed deep learning applications for Spark using DLlib Scala APIs in 3 simple steps:

// 1. Call `initNNContext` at the beginning of the code: 
val sc = NNContext.initNNContext()

// 2. Define the deep learning model using Keras-style API in DLlib:
val input = Input[Float](inputShape = Shape(10))  
val dense = Dense[Float](12).inputs(input)  
val output = Activation[Float]("softmax").inputs(dense)  
val model = Model(input, output)

// 3. Use `NNEstimator` to train/predict/evaluate the model using Spark DataFrame and ML pipeline APIs
import org.apache.spark.sql.SparkSession
val spark = SparkSession.builder().getOrCreate()
val trainDF ="train_data")
val validationDF ="val_data")
val scaler = new MinMaxScaler().setInputCol("in").setOutputCol("value")
val estimator = NNEstimator(model, CrossEntropyCriterion())  
        .setBatchSize(128).setOptimMethod(new Adam()).setMaxEpoch(5)
val pipeline = new Pipeline().setStages(Array(scaler, estimator))

val pipelineModel =  
val predictions = pipelineModel.transform(validationDF)

You can build distributed deep learning applications for Spark using DLlib Python APIs in 3 simple steps:

# 1. Call `init_nncontext` at the beginning of the code:
from bigdl.dllib.nncontext import init_nncontext
sc = init_nncontext()

# 2. Define the deep learning model using Keras-style API in DLlib:
from bigdl.dllib.keras.layers import Input, Dense, Activation
from bigdl.dllib.keras.models import Model
input = Input(shape=(10,))
dense = Dense(12)(input)
output = Activation("softmax")(dense)
model = Model(input, output)

# 3. Use `NNEstimator` to train/predict/evaluate the model using Spark DataFrame and ML pipeline APIs
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession
from import MinMaxScaler
from import Pipeline
from bigdl.dllib.nnframes import NNEstimator
from bigdl.dllib.nn.criterion import CrossEntropyCriterion
from bigdl.dllib.optim.optimizer import Adam
spark = SparkSession.builder.getOrCreate()
train_df ="train_data")
validation_df ="val_data")
scaler = MinMaxScaler().setInputCol("in").setOutputCol("value")
estimator = NNEstimator(model, CrossEntropyCriterion())\
pipeline = Pipeline(stages=[scaler, estimator])

pipelineModel =
predictions = pipelineModel.transform(validation_df)

See DLlib NNFrames and Keras API user guides for more details.


The Chronos library makes it easy to build fast, accurate and scalable time series analysis applications (with AutoML).

You can train a time series forecaster using Chronos in 3 simple steps:

from bigdl.chronos.forecaster import TCNForecaster 
from import get_public_dataset

# 1. Process time series data using `TSDataset`
tsdata_train, tsdata_val, tsdata_test = get_public_dataset(name='nyc_taxi')
for tsdata in [tsdata_train, tsdata_val, tsdata_test]:
    data.roll(lookback=100, horizon=1)

# 2. Create a `TCNForecaster` (automatically configured based on train_data)
forecaster = TCNForecaster.from_tsdataset(train_data)

# 3. Train the forecaster for prediction

pred = forecaster.predict(test_data)

To apply AutoML, use AutoTSEstimator instead of normal forecasters.

# Create and fit an `AutoTSEstimator`
from bigdl.chronos.autots import AutoTSEstimator
autotsest = AutoTSEstimator(model="tcn", future_seq_len=10)

tsppl =, validation_data=tsdata_val)
pred = tsppl.predict(tsdata_test)

See Chronos user guide and quick start for more details.


The Friesian library makes it easy to build end-to-end, large-scale recommedation system (including offline feature transformation and traning, near-line feature and model update, and online serving pipeline).

See Freisian readme for more details.


BigDL PPML provides a hardware (Intel SGX) protected Trusted Cluster Environment for running distributed Big Data & AI applications (in a secure fashion on private or public cloud).

See PPML user guide and tutorial for more details.

Getting Support


If you've found BigDL useful for your project, you may cite our papers as follows:

  • BigDL 2.0: Seamless Scaling of AI Pipelines from Laptops to Distributed Cluster

        title={BigDL 2.0: Seamless Scaling of AI Pipelines from Laptops to Distributed Cluster}, 
        author={Dai, Jason Jinquan and Ding, Ding and Shi, Dongjie and Huang, Shengsheng and Wang, Jiao and Qiu, Xin and Huang, Kai and Song, Guoqiong and Wang, Yang and Gong, Qiyuan and Song, Jiaming and Yu, Shan and Zheng, Le and Chen, Yina and Deng, Junwei and Song, Ge},
        booktitle={2022 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, 
  • BigDL: A Distributed Deep Learning Framework for Big Data

        title = {BigDL: A Distributed Deep Learning Framework for Big Data},
        author = {Dai, Jason Jinquan and Wang, Yiheng and Qiu, Xin and Ding, Ding and Zhang, Yao and Wang, Yanzhang and Jia, Xianyan and Zhang, Cherry Li and Wan, Yan and Li, Zhichao and Wang, Jiao and Huang, Shengsheng and Wu, Zhongyuan and Wang, Yang and Yang, Yuhao and She, Bowen and Shi, Dongjie and Lu, Qi and Huang, Kai and Song, Guoqiong},
        booktitle = {Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC)},
        year = {2019},
        pages = {50–60},
        doi = {10.1145/3357223.3362707}